What to read next?

It’s summer here in the Philippines and as expected, it’s scorching hot again. My blogger friend Chachic put up a post yesterday about summer reads, and her question got me thinking of something else, something that I’m sure readers with mountains of books waiting to be read always face: how do you choose what to read next?

I know some people choose their next books on a whim. Some follow a schedule, or let reading challenges guide them. For those who have to go through review copies, they have to follow a schedule based on release dates. I want to know — how do you pick your next read?

I tend to go through the following:

  • I usually pick what I read next based on the genre of what I just finished reading. For example, right now, I’m readingtwo fantasy books (On the Edge by Ilona Andrews and Unearthly by Cynthia Hand) because I realized that I’ve finished reading 4 contemporary YA novels almost one after the other. I needed a dose of magic, quick! I don’t always switch genres like that — it really depends on the mood. I try not to read too many of one genre one after the other, though, because variety is good.
  • If it’s a series, I try to hold off on it, unless I really, really want to know what happens next. Perfect example: Kate Daniels series. I just had to read one after the other. Another example of holding off on reading the next books after reading one or two: Chaos Walking series. I have yet to read the second and third book.
  • I don’t receive much ARCs except for e-galleys and that’s where I’m kind of crummy with scheduling. I try to read all the galleys I acquire but sometimes I just forget. That’s why I don’t get too many galleys nowadays because I forget, and I feel bad for not posting it on time of publication/release.
  • Challenges also can dictate what I read next. I tend to space them out through the year, although that often fails for the classics challenge since it takes me longer to read them, and sometimes when I try to pick one up, it’s a little too late in the year. Well, at least I’m trying. Required Reading mini-challenge helps A LOT in making me pick the next book to read, and it helps me pay attention to the older books in the TBR pile.
  • Again on moods — I pick up a book based on moods sometimes. Best example is when I reread This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen right after my brother’s wedding. I had to drop the dystopia reads for a while then because of the love in the air. ;) Valentine’s Day also did that too me. :p
  • Book discussions also tell me what to read next, although I haven’t really participated in that many.
  • Finally, peer pressure. :P It works. Sometimes.

Now that I’ve rambled there…what about you? How do you pick which book to read next?

13 Thoughts on “What to read next?

  1. Hey, I kind of asked a similar question in my discussion post here: http://chachic.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/book-bloggers-influence-my-reading-choices/ I always have a hard time trying to decide what to read next. I try to mix up the genres that I read – fantasy after contemporary and so on – so I won’t get fed up with just one thing. I don’t get review copies either so I don’t have to worry about scheduling those but I do worry about the challenges that I join. I have two at the moment – the Aussie YA Reading Challenge and the Once Upon a Time Challenge – and most of the time, I try to be aware of how many books I still need to read for each.

    I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t been feeling great but I’m not that excited to read lately. :(

    • I knew you had some similar post, but I couldn’t remember what it was. Thanks for linking it!

      I try not to stress over challenges because I don’t like being stressed when reading, so I try to take it easy. The only time I feel stressed when reading is when I feel like I failed myself, or when I really deliberately do not read. Those were old times, now I just can’t stop.

      Aw, maybe it’s because you’ve been sick? Or maybe it’s a slump? I hope you find something that will blow your mind again and get you reading. :)

  2. Availability at Booksale. Seriously. ^^

  3. Variety. And length of time a book’s been sitting on my shelf. :)

    • Yes on variety!

      I tend to ignore the older ones on my TBR shelf, which makes me feel bad. That’s really why I started Required Reading — I have books I bought back in 2006 (!!!!) that I still haven’t read. o_O Shiny new books are always a distraction. >_>

  4. I’m slowly making my way through my list of books I actually own and need to read. I’ve also got 10 books I’ve borrowed from friends that are sitting on my shelf, too. I have a problem, Tina, seriously. But I like to go through what I own, first.

    If I’m reading a series, I like to read them back to back. I’ve recently started the Chaos Walking trilogy (but it’s slow going because life’s been a little bonkers), and I’m planning on reading it all the way through.

    Book club also dictates what I read. I haven’t been in 3 months and I really need to go this month! We’ve got 3 YA enthusiasts in book club so we’ve got Unwind on deck. ;)

    • I only have one borrowed book on my shelf, because my friends and I often have the same books. We all want our own copies of the books we like. Plus I don’t feel like borrowing because the books I own that I haven’t read yet make me guilty. Oops. ^^

      I know I should have read the Chaos Walking series straight, too, but I remember waiting for Monsters of Men to come out first. Then, I just keep putting it off, especially since some friends from my book club haven’t read the second book yet. I will get around to it…soon. I hope I remember what happens in the first book, though. And I hope you find the time to get reading it because it’s really, really good. :D

      And ooh, Unwind. I liked that book, too. It’s the first dystopia novel I liked after The Hunger Games. :) Our book club is reading this Filipino dystopia novel, too, and I’m supposed to head that but everyone else seems to be reading something else at the moment. It’s an online discussion, anyway, so it’s easier to manage, but I’m supposed to plan a face to face meet-up with the author. I should get to that. ^^

  5. On a whim and on schedule for me. A combination of both, really. I have a very loose plan (in my mind only coz writing them down would be too much pressure on me) for my reads in the next few months. That way I could cram whatever book catches my ADHD brain at any moment in… oh look, Vespers Rising! :P

  6. I usually just go through my TBR based on what I feel like reading next, so no pressure. I do try to alternate genres too. Or at times an alternate between heavy content and light content. At times too, when there is a book that catches my attention and such a book will soon have it’s movie adaptation released. I would panic and get that book and read it next. Like Never Let Me Go which is I am loving right now. I am a bit bothered at having been leaving a lot of series hanging lately like Mysterious Benedict Society, Abhorsen trilogy, Millenium trilogy, and same with you, Chaos Walking trilogy. There are just so many new books to try. And oh, I haven’t gotten around reading Cashore’s Fire as well. It now bugs me thinking about it. Gah. :)

    • I hate being left behind in my series, so I try not to finish them quick! That’s why I put off reading The Ask and The Answer because Monsters of Men wasn’t out yet. :)

      Never Let Me Go – oooh are you done reading? How did you find it? It’s one of my favorite books this year.

      Fire – I have a crush on Brigan, one of the book’s characters. Get to it when you feel like reading good Tamora Pierce like fantasy. :)

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